Adventus

"The central doctrine of Christianity, then, is not that God is a bastard. It is, in the words of the late Dominican theologian Herbert McCabe, that if you don’t love you’re dead, and if you do, they’ll kill you."--Terry Eagleton

"...doesn't philosophy amount to the sum of all thinkable and unthinkable errors, ceaselessly repeated?"--Jean-Luc Marion

“The opposite of poverty is not wealth; the opposite of poverty is justice."--Bryan Stevenson

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Be Afraid. Be Very Afraid. It gives others power over you.

Never let reality get in the way of a good scare campaign.

Received this as an e-mail this morning.

As you know – the pledge of allegiance is currently under attack at the Supreme Court level and in many courts across the nation. Standing on the sideline is sometimes not what best serves our children or our values.

PETITION TO REINSTATE PLEDGE TO THE FLAG IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS

Agree or Delete: Instructions to sign are at the bottom.

PETITION FOR PRESIDENT BUSH

PETITION TO REINSTATE PLEDGE TO THE FLAG IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS:
Now, the first problem with this is, this came from a retired school administrator, who, as a teacher, should know better. This is basic civics. This question is back before the 9th Circuit. A lower court has abided by the previous 9th Circuit ruling, and held that the phrase "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance, makes its required use in public schools a violation of the establishment clause of the 1st Amendment.

One court. Not "many courts across the nation." And it hasn't even reached the 9th Circuit again, much less the Supreme Court. And even if it does, this is a legal matter, not an executive one.

There is nothing for President Bush to do.

And then there's the secondary issue (and, again, I would expect a school administrator to understand this): President Bush is not in charge of the public schools. He is not the Supervisor of Schools par excellence, the final arbiter of what all schools can or cannot do. The President of the United States has never had that power, and never will. Nor is the POTUS the final arbiter of what government, in any of its branches or manifestations, can do. He does not control the Federal Government, and does not control state or local governments.

The problem with this petition is not that the Pledge of Allegiance is under attack in our schools. The problem is how woefully ignorant the graduates of our schools apparently are.

Or think we are.

(Note: this is the entire text of the e-mail, aside from a string of names and the admonition to forward this or it will "die". There is no substance to it at all. It is, in short, the most idiotic kind of spam. And proof that fear is the mind-killer. And that the larger problem is how alienated we all feel, from our government and from each other; and, apparently, from reality.)

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